Sunday, February 22, 2015

Esther, If I perish, I perish!


Well this week has been pretty normal.

First of all thank you to you all for your prayers. We have finally found some people to teach.  We went and visited a young family that were old investigators, and while we were there speaking to them, I had this image pop into my mind. I saw all 5 of them standing with each other in baptismal clothes. I don't know where it came from. Revelation? I don't know, but basically, they are really nice, and will let us teach them, and I want to pick them up, so I am. Thanks. There's another older woman that doesn't necessarily want to take lessons, but will listen to us. She is part of a religion here called Tenrikyo. I have no idea what their beliefs are, but based of off of some things that Elder Spurling told me, they are strange.... She definitely believes in it though. She is 87 years old. Whew. Yeah teach her about the Plan of Salvation right? "Hey you better learn this, cause you're going there soon" lol. Japanese people usually have a shorter life span than Americans, so 87 is a pretty big achievement. Though we do have one member here who is older than that. Our church isn't an actual church building, it's an old office that the church rents. There are stairs to get up to everything, and every week 3 members have to help her climb those stairs. She is really funny.

So yeah have some people to teach that helped out a little. Other than that it was a pretty normal week. Did get chewed out by a guy on Tuesday for going around pinging doorbells. Apparently it is quite rude to do. He escorted us from the apartment building, and stood there and watched us to make sure we walked away. I tried getting him to come to English class, but he was quite adamant. Oh well. We're not in Africa so what Kenya do.

We have had bipolar weather recently. After last weeks blizzard, we haven't really had any snow. These past 3 days, there has been nothing but sunshine. Not even clouds. I took some pictures, but forgot my SD card reader, so sorry about that. I'll send some next week. Basically though, everything is melting and it's all wet. I have come back to the apartment with socks soaked all the way through these past few days. The thing is that without the clouds, it is still winter. That means, the temperature is still down. Which means once the sun goes down, with no clouds to insulate the earth, there is no heat. Everything freezes.

Well I hope you are all doing good.

Spiritual thought for the day.

When you think of Courage, who do you think of? Lot's of us will think of super heroes, or a dad, or Ammon, or Jesus, or other people in the scriptures. Lot's of men. Well guess what women can be courageous too. Ever heard of Esther? She had to go talk to the king to tell him that all the Jews were being killed, but she went in without an invitation, she could be killed. Yet she still does it. I like the wording she uses "if I perish, I perish". Because she does so, she not only saves her people, but she also get's her uncle Mordecai into a high position in the kingdom. Language time. The word for courage in Japanese is Yuuki. (pronounced yoo kee) It come from the characters that mean brave spirit. I love that. If you are brave through the spirit, you have courage. How awesome is that.

Well I love you all but I have to be done now.
Have a wonderful week.
Lot's of love.

Elder Eliot

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival

Hey everyone. So this is going to be a quickie, but there will be lot's of pictures to make up for it.

So this week we went to Sapporo for Zone Conference. That was cool. Got to learn some cool stuff from the missions mental and physical health doctors. We also had a cool devotional from President Nakatsuka. (sadly I can't remember it off the top of my head, but I took notes, so I'm good) Then we watched the new movie Meet the Mormons. Wow haven't seen that for several months, but still loved it. Then we went to the Snow festival. So I'm in Hokkaido right? There is a TON of snow here. As we walked down the sidewalk just today, the snow was reaching 2-3 feet above my head. It's insane. Because of that, Every year Sapporo has a Snow festival. They basically make HUGE snow sculptures, and have shows on them. I have pictures, but I also have videos. I can't send those sadly enough, so you'll have to wait till I get home to see them. But they didn't even capture the awesomeness of it all. 

Zone Conference (Kelson's in the middle)
Queen Elsa's Castle
Along with the snow festival, lot's of the bigger cities here have their own mini snow festivals that they give their own names to. The one in Abashiri is called the Ryuhyo Festival, or the Iceberg Festival. Probably the coolest thing I saw was there. The big main sculpture they had, looked really weird. It had a swan, with a face on it's chest, some animals, trees, dens, and other weird things. But the magic happened when they started the show. Using only 6 projectors, they preformed a movie, on the sculpture. It all played very well. It was an Ainu (Japanese native) story called Rossettes Prayer. The video I have doesn't even portray the amazing detail in it. Anyway. Yeah. Then at the snow festival, they had this cool Star Wars display. Sadly, there were some warm days, and before we got to go they had to destroy some of it. The Tie Fighters weren't there when we went. Oh well. But they had a cool light show with that (it was slightly lame, I couldn't easily programmed the lights that they used on it. I was told that it was going to be better than what we saw in Abashiri so I was a little disappointed), but there were other huge sculptures that were stages. People got up on them and performed. I have some videos of that too. If you are curious at all about it, just search Sapporo 66th Snow Festival. You'll find pictures, and probably videos too. Then there were just lot's of other cool sculptures.

Other than that though. This week was pretty normal. We had a huge blizzard yesterday. After we got back from church (4 hours after it was done) we couldn't even go outside. There are 2 windows in our apartment, and they are both entirely covered by snow. this morning when I went to take out the trash, I had to football tackle the door open because the snow was so high. It was insane.

Well I'll put in some descriptions with the pictures, but that about sums up my week. Hope you are all doing well. I keep you all in my prayers.

Lot's of love from the land of the Frozen.

Elder Eliot

His jacket has reflective strips, no his chest is not on fire!

Is that the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man?

They have Olof in Japan too!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

First Japanese Companion



Hey everyone.
It feels like it's been a while.
Well it's been a transfer.
I am no longer a bean (new Missionary).

Elder Spuling has died, (I miss him already-he went home to Indiana) and now I have a new companion.



That's right. My new companion is Japanese. He's pretty chill. We get along pretty well. He is from Okinawa, and this is his last transfer too. Yup I'm killing 2 companions already. Kind of sad.
He is way good at Dendo though. I don't know if it's just that we speaks the language perfectly, but our numbers (investigators) our sky rocketing right now. I'm excited for this transfer. Oh and yes I'm still in Abashiri.

We went to Sapporo this week for transfers, and I got to see a sneak peek at the Snow Festival happening there right now. It looks really exciting. We get to go back to Sapporo tomorrow for that. We Have a ZTM (Zone Training Meeting), and a Zone Conference, and then we get to go to the Festival. Way exciting. I'll be sure to take pictures of that for you all.

Other than that, not a lot happened this week. I got a new study book. It's the D&C Institute study book. It is way cool. I'm currently studying section by section alongside this book. It brings to new light a lot of things.

Get out your Ensign, or Liahona, or computer, wherever you can get it, and find Elder Sam Wong's talk. Remember the first guy to ever speak in a foreign language for General Conference. Yeah the Chinese one? Yeah it's a good talk. Read it over again. Make sure you are all doing your part as members of this church, and missionaries or not. Share this gospel. We have countless ways we can do so. and you don't even need to ping doorbells to do it. Talk to someone at school. Find someone at work. Post a scripture on Facebook every once in a while. Do something. Love someone.
Do something for someone else this week out of love. No other reason. Just Love.

Have a good week everybody. Till next week.
Elder Eliot
Signing off.

Not a ton of pictures this week, so I took some of Japanese money. 

Japanese Money

Christmas Child Moment

Elder Asato (first Japanese Companion)